Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mind Open. Heart Enlarged. Soul Receptive.

So. Are you guys all wondering why I am playing hooky on the whole "college" scene? Or are you not wondering at all? Either way, you're here on my blog for a reason. Maybe I forced you here. Either way, here's my story. Either way, I'm saying "either way" a lot.

(I won't be offended if you scroll to the bottom and write a comment, pretending like you read all of it, even if you didn't. well. maybe a bit.)

It all started on a stormy night, the wind howling in my ears ...

Okay just kidding. This isn't that kind of story.

Bottom line: I get to go to NEPAL for 6 months! Here's why and what I'll be doing:

So, as a senior in High School, you are faced with lots of questions. Where to apply to college, who to room with, what scholarships to apply for etc. So much change, sometimes too much to handle. Haha. Dealing with this, I finally decided I really needed to sit down and FIGURE OUT my plans. College applications were the talk of the town and the close proximity of my undecided future started to freak me out. I made a choice to really lay out all of my options. That's when I learned the concept of a "gap year." I researched a lot, and ultimately decided I wanted to take a year off to do some traveling and service. That is what led me to Choice.

Oh, Choice. How I love you. You are about to change my life. Everything I do, all day, every day for 6 months of my life. Believe it or not, 6 months is a looong time. HOW STOKED AM I? just a bit :)

In February, I had the opportunity to fly to Salt Lake and interview with the CEO of Choice Humanitarian. They wanted to get to know me, and I wanted to get to know them.

Turns out, I fell in love with their program.

They are a humanitarian program that works with villages in 5 different countries, with a goal to ultimately help them become self sustainable. They understand that the people there are so capable of becoming great, and they give them the tools to work towards that goal. Choice humanitarian is a program that is centered around sustainability. Their mission is to help villages in these countries, work themselves to become sustainable. They are not giving hand-outs, but rather helping the villagers realize the tools they already have, and how to use them. I like to think of it as the story of the fisherman--“Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.”

CHOICE Humanitarian’s key program is the Self-Developing Village Program -- a proven process for ending extreme poverty through:

1. Organizing: Building a foundation of trust as villages learns to identify its leaders, inventory its needs and assets, create a common vision, set priorities, establish committees, and define responsibilities.
2. Mobilizing: Developing leadership capacity. Villagers learn to create an action plan and carry out projects they have selected. The projects are used as tools to develop leadership skills in a “learn-by-doing” process.
3. Institution building: Becoming self-sufficient through the development of committees, Village Councils, and village-sponsored sustainable business opportunities, using the learning-by-doing model in partnership with investors and mentors, ultimately becoming integrated into national and international economies.

Oh gosh, I love this program.

THIS is the way to help people. Help them help themselves.

I will be doing my own individual projects for Choice, when I'm in Nepal. I'll be doing a sort of "internship" for them.

I'll update this blog when my projects are set in stone, but for now I'm planning on doing things such as studying elephant poop, and maybe some research on how it is to live with no hot showers. Exciting huh?! I'll definitely keep ya'll posted.

For now, make sure you are friends with me on Facebook so you can be invited to all my fundraisers!
they will be aaaawesome. possum. k?

I love you all and hope you can learn more about what I'm doing and be involved in helping me get there!



p.s. wanna stalk me more? i'm not surprised. (i kid, i kid.)